Party Wall Matters

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (the Act) provides a framework for preventing or resolving disputes in relation to work to party walls and boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings or structures.

Work covered by the Act includes cutting into a party wall to support a beam,for a loft extension or cutting away a chimney breast. Less obvious qualifying work are excavations for foundations within 3.0m (10’0) of a neighbouring building or piling within 6.0m.

The Act refers to two parties - Building Owners and Adjoining Owners

The building owner proposes to carry out work described in the Act and must give their neighbour written notice and describe the work.

The neighbour who receives the notice is the adjoining owner and must reply in writing. The neighbour can agree (consent) to the work going ahead or disagree(dissent).

If the adjoining owner consents in writing no further action need be taken.

If the adjoining owner dissents to the proposals an Award must be prepared by an appointed surveyor or surveyors.

As a party wall surveyor I can advise the parties to the dispute on the procedures to follow.

I can act as party wall surveyor for the building owner or the adjoining owner in the preparation of a Party wall Award and if problems arise from the building work, determine the necessary remedial action.

The Act allows for one surveyor to be appointed as agreed surveyor. The role of the surveyor is impartial and I am able to act as an agreed surveyor where both parties concur in my appointment.

The Department of Communities and Local Government publish a useful guide to the Act which can be obtained at Party Wall explanatory booklet

RICS and party walls

The RICS provides guidance relating to party walls.

Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors

The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors FPWS offers advice on party wall matters and provides a list of members.

Party Wall Disputes TV Surveyors
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